...give my chicks worms from the garden? I have a cartoon running through my head of these goofballs tug-o-waring over worms and chasing each other all around trying to get the others worm (kinda like my toddler and my 3 year old).
I would say yes because if they were with momma they would be getting worms but I would make sure they had grit before you give them treats but I would get others opinons first. we have some real experts on here that will knwo for sure.
Mealworms seem to be like chicken CRACK at about any age above 1 week!! I would think smaller earthworms may be better than, say, large nightcrawlers. That would be excellent protein for the growing flock, but I am just now approaching 1 week of actual chick care so please take that with the a bit of healthy skepticism. I did read extensively for about 4 months...
When my girls were chicks, I did offer a few worms (it ended up just as you described...flag football basically), and even tossed a grasshopper in the vacinity by two weeks. As others have said, when you venture away from the crumbles, make sure you're sprinkling a little fine grit on their feed.
I posted that same question last year, and was told that earthworms carry parasites. I give them to my birds, and just take natural steps to deworm, and control internal parasites. ex. Apple cider vinagar in their water, and I feed them whole pumpkins when I can find them. The pumpkin seeds contain natural enzymes that flush their bodys of parasites.
Mealworms, yes, but I wouldn't purposefully give them worms from the garden till later on. Earthworms often carry a nematode that can cause gapeworm. Some of my hens will eat worms on occasion, but I don't feed them to them for that reason.